Advantages of Using a Lock Box

Listing a home for sale creates the question of how you want to show the home to potential buyers. A newly listed home receives the most walk through traffic during the first 2-3 weeks the listing is on the market. As a result providing easy and convenient access to your home is the best way to gain a quick sale.

As the seller, you control the access to your home during the time the home is on the market. There are several options when it comes to regulating who enters your home for a tour. Buyers are looking for homes they can see when it is convenient for them. This may mean they drive by a home and request an immediate showing. Home sellers are looking to protect their homes and their belongings during the sales process.

Homes can be viewed by the buyer through the use of a lockbox, by appointment, or during pre-set hours. Lock box provides the most open access for buyers,  and pre-set hours provides the lowest level of access.

The most common lock box found in this area is called the iBox manufactured by GE and sold by Supra. It has programming that can tell which real estate agents are showing your home and at what time. When the agent uses a code to enter the box, their information is recorded and the bottom of the lock box is released, giving them access to the house keys. The box has an infrared system which provides security for the home owner. The box can only be opened with an electronic display key or a cell phone that is synchronized.

Options for showing Your Home

For vacant homes, a second home, or if sellers are taking a vacation, the vacant designation is given to the home. This allows buyers agents to show the home at any time. The agent can enter the home with the use of the lockbox and then leave a card, indicating the house has been viewed by a potential buyer.

For owners who are living in the home, most choose to have the agents “Call First”, before showing the home. This gives the seller the option of rescheduling at a more convenient time. It also provides time for the seller to exit the home, as buyers are much more comfortable viewing a home without the seller or the sellers’ agent present. The phone number listed on the MLS is typically the seller’s phone number. The process is for the buyer’s real estate agent to call and schedule a showing. If there is no answer a message is left and the agent will proceed with the requested time. The home is entered using a lockbox.

For homes that are rented appointments may be required before a showing. Some states require that tenants be given either 24 or 48 hours’ notice before a home can be shown. Your real estate agent can advise you as to the local rules around showing a home with a tenant. In all cases the buyer’s agent must coordinate any showings with the tenant and the home can be accessed with a lockbox.

Homes shown by appointment only. This home is listed without the benefit of a lock box. It requires the owner to arrange all showings and provide a key to each buyer’s agent. This can be both an inconvenience to the seller and the buyer as a greater level of coordination is required. The seller can choose to provide the key to the buyer’s agent and have the agent contact the seller directly for all showings. The other option is to leave a house key with the seller’s agent and have the seller’s agent coordinate a showing with the buyer’s agent. In either situation, the seller or seller’s agent is present at showings which can make the buyer uncomfortable.

Homes Shown on Specific Days and/or specific Hours. This provides the seller with a specific time each week that they must be home in order to accommodate potential buyers. The challenge for the seller is that no buyers may show up creating wasted time for the seller or the seller’s agent. In a hot market, like we have today, buyers are often not willing to wait until your designated time. They may find another home that meets their needs before then. The times you set may not be convenient for the buyer or the buyer’s agent, resulting in fewer showings.

Studies have shown than homes listed with a lockbox give buyers the greatest flexibility, and therefore have the highest number of showings. At we highly recommend using a lockbox, so your home will sell as quickly as possible.  To learn more about Realtyweb, Rob Roham and our services, visit



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